The City’s Rebuild program announces its investment into the recreation center which includes a $4.5 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant.
PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney, PA Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton, Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), Rebuild Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and community members broke ground today at the Francis J. Myers Recreation Center located in Southwest Philadelphia. The over $20 million of improvements at the recreation center were made possible by the city’s Rebuild program, Philadelphia’s $550 million historic investment in public spaces.
“We are proud to kick off phase two of Rebuild’s F.J. Myers project,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I want to thank Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton for bringing in an additional $4.5 million RACP grant for the Recreation Center. Together, we are bringing over $20 million in investment to Myers and Southwest Philadelphia.”
Totaling more than $20 million in improvements, including necessary interim improvements completed during phase one of the project in 2021, phase two will fully gut and renovate the existing three-story facility, as well as demolish the existing annex and gymnasium sections of the original building. In addition to the Rebuild Philadelphia funding, Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton announced the approval of an additional $4.5 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant for the Recreation Center.
“Myers Rec Center is a local treasure that has been serving our community for generations,” said PA Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton. “Improvements to the center that are starting soon will not only ensure that Myers continues to be a place where neighbors of all ages can gather to learn and play, but will also support and elevate the women and minority-owned businesses working on the project.”
“What a great day to be in Southwest Philadelphia to celebrate the groundbreaking of F.J. Myers Rec Center,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director for Rebuild. “Our team’s $20 million investment is going to revamp and improve this iconic community location, making it better than ever to serve today’s generation and those to come. We’re so excited for this community to get the upgraded facilities they deserve.”
A key commitment for Rebuild is working with diverse businesses to improve every site. To date, 58.6 percent of committed contract dollars have been awarded to diverse businesses and 45 percent of total hours have been worked by women and people of color. The F.J. Myers site alone includes partnerships with three women business enterprises and six minority business enterprises on this project.
Totaling more than $20 million in investment, the F.J. Myers Recreation Center will be updated with the following during phase two of the project:
New project construction:
- Regulation size basketball gymnasium and lobby addition including restrooms
- Relocation of playground and adult fitness equipment
- New sprayground, community garden, site landscaping, site lighting, repair and replacement of fencing and retaining walls, selective tree removal and new plantings, regrading, and stormwater management.
- Masonry cleaning, repairs, and repointing
- Window replacement, with security grilles and exterior door replacement
- Selective roof replacement with metal tile shingles to match existing at-pitched roof areas
- Selective repair and replacement of existing roof
- New exterior lighting and security camera system
- Selective demolition of existing partitions, ceilings, flooring, doors, casework, mechanical electrical, plumbing, and fire protection throughout
- Hazmat Remediation throughout
- ADA upgrades, including a new 4-stop elevator
- Reconfiguration of interior rooms and toilet rooms on floors 1, and 2 only
- Casework and interior casework and millwork on floors 1, and 2 only
- New FF+E at floors 1, 2 only
- Interior signage and wayfinding at floors 1, 2 only
- Complete new power and lighting systems throughout
- Complete new security, IT, and AV systems throughout
- Complete new plumbing systems throughout
- Complete new electrical, mechanical fire alarm and fire protection systems throughout
- Stabilization and cleanout at basement and third floor
“The Francis J. Myers Rec Center is critical to the children and residents of Southwest Philadelphia,” said Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (Second District), who represents parts of Southwest Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, and Center City. “This is a great Rebuild project that will result in a world-class recreation center in Southwest Philadelphia. Francis Myers is located in the Second Council District and the residents of Southwest Philadelphia and our children deserve the very best. I commend outgoing Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny for making our parks and recreation centers his number one priority during his tenure in office.”
Through the combination of Rebuild funding, community partnerships, and state grants like RACP, Rebuild is able to fully deliver on the Rebuild promise to work closely with the community, understand their vision, and invest intentionally to deliver a quality resource in their neighborhood.
Totaling nearly $350,000 in investment, this first phase of the F.J. Myers Recreation Center project represented a transformational partnership between the City, the Philadelphia Union Foundation, and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer.
Phase 1 of the F.J. Myers Rebuild Project included:
- A brand new, state-of-the-art mini-pitch boasting a mural by Calo Rosa entitled “Unity Chant” in partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia
- Renovated tennis courts with new nets and fencing
- Updated, repainted, and lined basketball courts with new backboards and rims
The Rebuild program will invest more than $550 million in Philadelphia’s parks, recreation centers, and libraries. Made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, Rebuild prioritizes sites in high-need neighborhoods, as well as sites that are in extremely poor condition.
“We’re thrilled to join Rebuild and Community partners to break ground on F.J. Myers Recreation Center, a space Southwest Philly residents have cherished for decades,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Interim Commissioner Orlando Rendon. The F.J. Myers community has loved the improvements already completed as a part of Phase 1 of the project, and is looking forward to all the incredible upgrades Phase two will bring.”
Programming relocation during construction: During construction, F.J. Myers staff and staff-led programs will be relocated to the Daroff Elementary School. Daroff Elementary School is located at 5630 Vine Street. Residents can stay up to date on F.J. Myers programs at Daroff here.
Rebuild is a historic investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries across Philadelphia. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild’s promise to acknowledge history, engage the community and invest intentionally seeks to uplift pivotal community spaces, empower neighborhoods, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion.